Published Sep 16, 2002
I just received a letter today offering me $37.00/h to work in a hospital that is about 200 miles from my home in a large Metro area. They also offered full benes. I live in a large Metro area now and everytime I have gone into the hospitals to check out pay rates I get the ol, well you've been away from the bedside for so long now that it would be like starting over and we can offer you just above starting wages. I have been a nurse for almost 15 years! I have done high tech home visits for years, have also worked in sub acute, rehab, DON, supervisor, QM, charge nurse, preceptor, disaster nurse, public health and have about 3 years in hospital ICU. Now, why doesn't somebody local offer me enough $ to get me back into the hospital? Really now, I started thinking about it and the only way I'd go into the hospital is if I were making $35-45/hr. I wouldn't mind working part time at the hospital if the pay was worth it. I want to know from other nurses who have left the bedside if they would consider going to work in the hospital, even if it was just part time picking up a few shifts, if the pay was in the $40 range without going through an agency. Even the agency I called recently offered me $25/hr and I turned it down, told them I needed more if I was going to work agency and they said that was the best they could do. I am beginning to think the entire nursing shortage problem would be solved if they would just pay us enough. Pay them and they will come. I know there are alot of other reasons not to work in the hospitals and understand all to well why the hospitals wouldn't want to do this but it seems to me that if I am sitting here thinking I'd go back if the pay was enough, how many others would too?
My plan is to keep hubby's insurance plan, get more experience in MS/Tele, and then go F/T agency. For the money.
Because these pay rates are lousy, for all that we do and all that we put on the line every day.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But my base rate is under $19 an hour, and if I got health insurance for my family, that'd drop it even more.
We don't get OT for holidays.
We do get extra for weekends and a good shift diff. BUT.
We oughta get paid better.
And I will get paid better.
Hubby is self employed so that's why I'd never been able to have any flexability and always had to have a job that gaurenteed me a steady income. In the past doing agency was not always steady work. Remember freinds not being able to pay bills b/c they couldn't get enough shifts. I'm sure it's not like that anymore but I still need the benes.
flowerchild--well, to answer your question, no I would not go back.
But YOU might be able to do a part-time gig like maybe 3 shifts/week (at $37/hour) for a couple of months at least, to see whether you want to add more shifts or stop BS nursing. I don't know whether, in your case, that would mean taking a small apartment or inexpensive hotel room in the new location and spending three days in a row there every week to get in those shifts, or what (200 miles each way every day is a long commute otherwise, but not so far if done just once a week).
It's really hard to know unless you actually walk in those shoes (at least for me), and the pay being offered there seems within the parameters you set.
So far as the supply and demand issue, I'll paste this in from one of my posts on another thread:
When the supply of labor is short, working conditions are customarily improved, in addition to pay and benefits, until enough of these employees are hired (like the massages, flex hours and time off, and catered meals, etc. in Silicon Valley the last decade). Why does health care seem exempt from this?
The simple answer seems to be that there is a very large pool of people desiring, and paying for, healthcare (through insurance plans, Medicare, etc.), so the overall demand, and the $$$ are there. All these payers can be taken for granted by the healthcare industry.
But the people running the HMOs, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, those who make overall decisions about staffing levels, etc., are interested only in cost-cutting and short-term profits, so they continue to provide inadequately for their employees, the "nursing shortage" be damned.
These CEOs and other officers (and nurse managers and nurse supervisors who are focused only on kissing their butts) are protected from the undertreated patients and the angry staff, so it is not THEIR problem. They loudly tout "nursing shortage" as the excuse for not staffing their facilities adequately, meanwhile their HR and Nurse Recruiting departments tend to be at best indifferent to applicants, obviously in no hurry to fill vacancies.
As has been pointed out repeatedly on this bb THERE IS NO NURSING SHORTAGE. There are plenty of RNs in this country, but a whole lot of us are not willing to work in the dysfunctional and substandard environments that most hospitals today provide.
And since the insured continue to pay (or their employers continue to pay) ever-increasing premiums AND the hospital staff members aren't going on LONG strikes until suitable improvements are agreed upon in legally-binding contracts and then quickly implemented, the decision-makers see no problem. Just an occasional disgruntled employee who can easily be replaced. No big deal.
No. MY health is important to me. As long as I can pay my bills without having to put up with such bad working conditions, I will stay away from the bedside. I've been away about a year now. Sure, I miss working with patients but I'd rather know I'm not going to harm someone because I was too rushed or fatigued or hurting.
VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN
I loved hospital nursing, but couldn't handle the 12-hour shifts or the care of 8-10 seriously ill pts at a time with no aide, no support, nothing. One night I had a 400# man going through DTs in 4-point leathers, who marched his bed right across the room and needed Q 1 hr. Ativan & Librium. (The doc came in at 0700 the next morning and said "We should have detoxed him in ICU"---I could've screamed!!) In the meantime I had another pt down the hall who went into CHF while I was spending most of my time trying to keep the ETOH guy in bed without getting killed. Another one, a fresh post-op, was out of medication for her PCA pump and went without for almost an hour. That was one of those dangerous shifts when you find yourself not really caring WHAT happens to your pts., and when you seriously question your sanity for ever becoming a nurse in the first place!
Go back to bedside nursing? Not in this lifetime......I'm perfectly happy being a LTC care manager, thank you!
You may find it worthwhile to work part-time at the larger hospital,say per diem from thurs to tues 1 weekend a month. For all of you out there who do need benefits,I found that ny hospital pays benefits if you only work part time-some retirees have had to come back from retirement and work 2 days a week. I work 3 days a week and almost never have to use paid leave.
renerian, BSN, RN
I heard the same thing! You have been away from bedside so long how do you think you will do? Since when is LTC/SNF/home health/hospice not doing nursing? I am a much better nurse since leaving the hospitol. There is no one else when I am in a persons home alone to call for an opinion......like in the facility / hospital to give their opinion on someone.......
Just my venting,,,,,,
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